California's Great America#8 in Best Things To Do in San Jose
It's no Disneyland, but this theme park in the Santa Clara neighborhood (about a 15-minute drive from downtown San Jose) will surely satisfy your family's craving for thrilling rides, water park fun and live entertainment. While the high-flying coasters like Flight Deck steal most of the attention (and the wait times), the theme park offers a wide variety of carnivalesque booths along with a few entertaining performances. You'll find many of the families with younger children enjoying the smaller thrills of Planet Snoopy. And to make this into a great summer attraction, Great America also offers the Boomerang Bay Water Park and its fun slides, cabana and wave pool.
Most visitors recommend planning a trip to California's Great America if you've got kids in tow, praising the manageable size and fun water park. However, more than a few reviewers complained of the overpriced, tasteless food offered on-site and suggested skipping meals inside the park in favor of the neighborhood's more affordable options.
California's Great America maintains a seasonal schedule, so check the park's online calendar before planning a visit. From the end of March through September, the park opens at 10 a.m. and closes between 5:30 and 10 p.m. depending on the day and month. The Boomerang Bay Water Park operates on separate hours and days. And there are also special hours for its Halloween-themed day in October. Single-day tickets cost $38.99 per person if purchased online. If you buy your ticket at the gate, expect to pay $67 per person. You'll also save a few bucks on parking if you pre-purchase your pass online ($15 online versus $18 at the park). For more information, check out the park's website.
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